Can children have too many presents? Yes!
'Tis the season to put even more pictures of what you are doing up on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (among others). We see stacks of presents and numerous photos of Christmas dinner. Really?
I guess it's the same people who photograph every part of their
mundane lives that insist on telling us they are drinking a Christmas cup of coffee with a mince pie, having a Christmas sherry, eating a Christmas dinner (no, really?) and having a Christmas fart (too many sprouts). Thanks for that. Where would my life be without your updates? In actual fact, I didn't bother looking at Facebook until today and only checked my Twitter because someone had posted something on one of my accounts that was actually interesting.
I've been shocked by some peoples' Christmas present stack. I mean, really? Did Toys R Us have anything left by the time you finished? Did you children actually enjoy opening 100+ presents? Did they actually really, really want any of them? I have been guilty of this in the past as when J was little, she did get totally over-spoiled at Christmas. She had a positive sack of stocking presents along with a ton under the tree. This was complemented by another how sack from my eldest sister (who also spoiled her) and then she had another sack and ton under the tree from my ex-husband. Spot the guilt-trip here? Exactly! Anyway, it all stopped after one Christmas and I'll tell you why. She got bored of opening presents. Yes, bored. Not just a bit fed up trying to get into the wrapping but she actually said "how many more have I got to open?" She said she didn't want to open any more. She suggested I open them while she watched TV. What?! That's when it hit me. We simply had bought her too much. Almost everything she'd mentioned in passing the year before had appeared under the tree. She had nothing special. No one present meant anything to her. Some were never played with at all. What the heck had we done? The following year I listened carefully to things she talked about. I bought one special present and lots of fun bits including colouring books, felt pens, craft stuff. I changed the huge stocking for a tiny one that you could fit about 8 tubes of Smarties into and filled it with proper stocking bits. I asked my sister to buy one big present for her, or at least a couple of decent ones rather than a sack of things she wasn't bothered about. She had a fabulous Christmas. She loved opening every gift and was excited about them all. Phew.
Now my children have around 8-10 presents for Christmas plus their little stockings (Santa fills those). It's perfect. We open them one at a time and everyone watches everyone else. It's fun. I spend the same on each of my girls and hubby and I usually exchange smellies (we're always out of perfume/aftershave by this time of year as the last Christmas one plus holiday ones have run out).
So, you won't be seeing any pictures of my Christmas dinner as I'm sure you know what a Sunday roast looks like. Yes, that's another thing. Why do people get so stressed about Christmas dinner? They manage a roast dinner many times a year but at Christmas it becomes a trauma for some. I've never understood that. I've also never understood people fussing about turkey. Hey, if it's that great, why don't you eat it at any other time? Yeah, because it tastes horrible, no-one likes the legs and it takes 5 times the cooking of a chicken.